Tuesday, December 28, 2010

For The Love Of........Beer?

Yes, we do enjoy the occasional (occasional?) glass of home brew. And now that we have a truly wonderful home brew supply store not too far from home we really have been having fun.

Home brew has helped us in many ways; some of our more creative ideas have been hatched over a home brew (read here), and our choice for flavors is only limited by our imagination. We sit in our favorite chairs by the wood stove and toss out ideas to each other – how about honey and mint, or maybe some squash.....spelt? It's all fair game.

We won't go into detail on how to make home brew, there are many sites and books that cover that in great detail, but we will encourage anyone who has thought about brewing their own beer to go for it. Brewing can be very simple or complex, depending upon your time, space and desires. We often do simple, quick batches.

The most important thing is to just try - A local home brew club is a great way to learn. Once you get started, you'll be hooked. Just be careful about some of the ideas you come up with while sipping- you too may end up without a kitchen stove.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

What, My Stove? Are You Nuts??

Well, we did it. Just like that, our gas stove is no longer with us. Yup, gone. Cold turkey (literally).

What prompted this, you ask? I guess you could say “putting our money where our mouth is.” We have been slowly trying to eliminate propane use at our house, which started with the wood fired water heater.During the winter the gas stove is shut off, but still available, kind of like a crutch, a nice security blanket for "bad fire" days. But after some long talks (over a home brew or two) we decided to just take the stove out. There – now there is no excuse.

One thing that helped us arrive at that decision (besides the home brew) was the early Christmas gift of Global Sun Oven® - World's Best Solar OvenA friend has one and absolutely loves it. It's how she does all her summer baking and cooking, doing extra on sunny days to carry them over on cloudy days. She spoke so highly of it that it helped to make our decision easier.

I am a bit concerned about cooking in the summer, although last summer I did use the wood stoves most days (even in 80ยบ F weather) to cook a quick meal (no stews or breads). We have a bread machine we use on sunny days (doesn't effect our solar that way). And, I think we will cheat a little and keep our gas grill......for now.

Wish us luck!